we got off to a rough an interesting start on thanksgiving 2009, but as we they sit here watching football, i know we pulled it out just fine. oh, the table wasn’t worthy of a single snapshot, and the food was served in the midst of countertop clutter, and the family balked when i lit candles and turned down the lights, but it was still a very nice thanksgiving.

mimosas help move us through the day with a kitchen full of folks, each of whom has their own cooking style. i prefer to clean as i go while others prefer cooking now/cleaning later and still others say if they cook, somebody else can clean by golly.

we still honor the 20-minute rule, a little something i conjured up many years ago in a foot-stomp moment: eat as fast as you want, i tell them, but you are gonna’ sit at this table for 20 minutes because I JUST SPENT THREE DAYS COOKING AND A DAY AT THE GROCERY STORE BEFORE THAT.

long ago i, like so many others, ended every day noting at least 5 things on my gratitude list, and you know, the more i was grateful for, the more i had to be grateful for. that practice, like anything else i’ve done consistently, taught me to see, to think in a certain way. over the years, i’ve tried all sorts of ways to enkindle conversation about gratitude as we sit around the overflowing table on the fourth thursday of november, but this year i waved the white flag and just left each to his/her own way of saying thank you.

once, on a family trip, my son wandered off by himself for some alone time. when we reunited later that afternoon, he came bearing a gift for me: a handblown glass stylus, inkwell, and stand. it is gorgeous and it is delicate – far too delicate to sit ready in a house with curious cats that leap with abandon – so until 2 weeks ago, it sat in my closet. it was the first thing i saw when i opened the closet door, and i vowed that when we were once again catless, i was bringing it out into the open.

then mother and i went to vancouver 2 weeks ago, and on granville island, i bought 2 bottles of vegetable-based ink and ever since, i’ve started each day penning thank you notes with my handblown glass stylus. i dip the nib in the inkwell and delight in the sound and feel of it scratching along the paper. once at least 3 notes are finished, the dog and i walk them to the mailbox.

so why am i not afraid for the stylus’ life even though we still provide shelter for 2 cats? because, my friends, i have discovered a little something called museum mount – a clear, slightly sticky gel that holds everything tightly in its designated place. yes, thanks to that little jar of museum mount, i can look forward to penning those daily thank you notes with my glass pen far into the future, cats be damned.

but now, as we close out thanksgiving 2009, i’ll publicly revert to noting 5 things for which i am monstrously thankful:

* children who enjoy, defend, and, when necessary, support each other.
* a low-maintenance, high-companionable dog.
* a mother who is still interested in all sorts of things, who never uses age as an excuse, and who is not too set in her ways to stay up past midnight and sleep till nearly noon.
* a husband who willingly changes out switchplate and outlet covers even though he thinks what we already have is perfectly fine.
* friends – those i see in person and those i see digitally – who tickle, support, inspire, and encourage.

oh, oh, oh: and museum mount. yes siree, i sure am thankful for museum mount.